Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Short & Sweet

This afternoon, it was so beautiful outdoors that I resolved to ride Guinness! Unfortunately, I had a very limited amount of time between scheduled activities. While Cody's mom was out for a visit, I took the opportunity to hop on G. (Hey, I needed someone to call 911 if needed!!)

First, I mosied out to the field where the boys were having a nap, and laid down next to Guinness. I scratched him for awhile, and then we walked up to the barn together.

I put Guinness' halter and 12' rope on him, and then he aligned himself to pick me up from the "off side", as I climbed the fence. I swung my leg over his bare back without any preparation, then slid aboard. He gave a head toss as I adjusted myself, but no other objections.

We proceeded to practice Go as I guided him with one rein, flipping it over his head as needed. (He already knows whoa & backing really well.) Each time that I asked him, I progressed from lifting the rein to squeezing my cheeks to a smooch to spanking my shoulders with the end of the rope, to spanking his hiney with the rope. He was surprisingly stoic about me spanking his butt, but eventually got the idea to move forward. No objections from him at all during the 5 minutes or so that I was on him. :-)

This really increases my confidence in his response to pressure from me. As long as I'm clear and methodical, he has proven that he is willing to sort things out.

We also had a play session yesterday. I tied Guinness & Smokey to the hitching posts, while my *husband* played the Seven Games with Cody! Cody really seemed to enjoy the attention and continued to follow my husband around even after he had released him.

Next, I played with Smokey. He was really brave and responsive at Liberty. I think that he is really happy to not be the focus of all of my attention and I wouldn't be surprised if he makes a ton of progress over the next few years. It figures.

Last, I played with Guinness. We successfully played with sharpening up his "hide your hiney" response using the 12' rope. We also did the HQ-yield-FH-yield move. Then I switched to the 22' rope and we played with transitions and change of direction on a circle, then around 1/2 barrels, and finally to a Figure 8 pattern. He was very animated and a bit dominant acting, even while offering a lot of try.

I released him and he followed me back to the barn, where I asked him to bow on both sides in exchange for treats.

I'm going to aim to play with him again tomorrow evening. On Friday it is forecasted to get above 80 degrees, so it will be bath time!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Excellent! I had every intention of riding yesterday. But it was so pretty and I figured Cricket didn't want to be cooped up any more than I did. I ended up hand grazing Cricket and Etruska (my friend's mare) in the lush field across from our arena. It was very content listening to the girls munch grass.